I was thinking just the other day about how my life here has evolved. I never would have imagined that a life in a small town in Italy could possibly evolve, but it has. My perceptions of things has obviously changed. When you first visit a new country you are wearing what my mom likes to refer to as "rose colored glasses". Everything is wonderful and fantastic and sooooo romantic. I see it when I read other people's blogs about Italy or read books about tourists in Italy and when I think back on how I too first saw Italy. While some of the romantic parts have faded away, and real life has sunk in, I do have to say that I am truly happy. There are things here that drive me crazy, but I somehow always seem to see the good, beautiful wonderful things, just in a more realistic way now.
I've never asked my mom, but I don't think I refer to Italy as a total paradise where things are all wonderful and fantastic (as I used to do, which I know drove her crazy), but I do really like living here. I love the quirks and fanatical things just as much as the natural beauty and the food. Doing this blog has really showed me the good things in my life
When I go back to the States, there are obviously things that I miss and spend loads of time doing while I'm there. I miss the atmosphere of Seattle, the smell of the Puget Sound, the feel of Seattle when you walk down its streets. It is something so completely different. Feeling like a true American! It is part of me and I miss it.
I am so lucky to be able to visit as much as I do.
I have always said that I keep my sanity by going back to the States every so often. But looking at that statement now, I don't know if it is for my sanity. I'm not sure what it is exactly. I need my family, I miss them dearly and I don't know if I could go much longer than a year without seeing them. I have never been away from the States for more than ten months at a time since I first started coming to Italy eleven years ago. I feel fortunate for this, but I am sure that in the future things will change, hopefully not too much, but it would be silly to think otherwise. So I am going to enjoy every moment that I have in America.
Talking with a friend of mine today, she told me that she hates it when I go away so long in the summer, because we don't get to spend very much time together doing fun things, like going to the beach. I told her that I didn't think I would be going to America all summer every year, although I'd be doing it until I could, until my parents are able and willing to have us with them all summer. If I had been faced with this reality a few years ago, I may have gone into complete panic mode, but there are times now that I am at peace with it.
I think the longer you stay in a place, the more it becomes a part of who you are. As I've said before, I am a bit of a hyphen, not truly American or Italian. That said however, I am part of both, and maybe that's even better! I notice it in how I behave, what I say and how I think. (and I'm sure my family notices it too). I suppose I am truly a blend of the two now. One third Italian and two thirds American (that's exactly how much of my life I've spent in both places). Now I wonder if in the future it will be truly 50/50.